Paintings and Drawings by Ian T. Carey

My current body of work seeks to allegorically portray the difficulties and anxieties found within the day to day realities of the American working class. I combine aspects of abstraction and figuration to create imagery that represents my perspectives of a confused and often troubled world. The results are an amalgamation of images found within art history, popular culture, Google image searches, and my interactions with people throughout the day. The characters are mashups of isolated body parts that punctuate the space and force the viewer to take a tour of the overall composition. The relationships between the characters portrayed exist, much like the elements that comprise each body. The figures appear vague, confused, and often disinterested in those around them. Though seemingly flawed, I desire to portray them with hopeful dignity.
The balance between the rough physicality and the techniques of the classical serves to subvert visual hooks that hold on to the viewer and increase their engaged experience. If the free use of gestural marks at one time suggested an internal struggle likened to the musicality of jazz, I believe the intermingling of visual strategies now represents the progressive attitude of what could be akin to punk rock. Punk is a cultural and societal critique expressed through several similar historical movements offering an ever-fluid opposition to a perceived status quo. Punk provides a periodic yet constant reminder of our need to reevaluate and challenge our political realities. It is the creative act (whether visual or sonic) that can help develop an emotional range, informed by our cultural experience, constructing and informing our shared realities. I want the viewer to enjoy an experience of self-discovery while navigating the image. This activity allows the spectator to seek a psychological relationship to the narrative distortion while reveling in the opacity of the information provided. The end goal is to create a unique conversation in each viewer's head that makes them question themselves and the systems that surround them.
The figures are purposely scaled large and designed for outsized institutional spaces to increase the likelihood of an expanded audience, inclusive audience. Each piece presents an opportunity to show various narrative scenarios that are difficult to interpret, allowing for participation within the poetics of the aesthetic experience. The image's agitated nature generates a shared experience between myself and the viewer, with no single reading or answers presented. The work allows the viewer to consider my material engagement, which determines each image's metaphorical and allegorical nature. The visual vocabulary of the paint, drawing materials, and digital processes contrast with the various optical elements, increasing a visual tension that heightens the image's psychological nature. The piecing together of the often dispirit materials parallels how we navigate through our daily lives; the concept of a linear or singular experience disregarded and rendered obsolete — the overall aesthetic results in the portrayal of an elegant crudity indicative of our shared experience.